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RLS hopes to improve

The goal for the Red Level Tigers early in this baseball season is to get better with every passing game.

The Tigers had a rough start in an early Feb. 26 game against Brantley, which they lost 13-0 in five innings of play.

Red Level coach Tony Ingram said in that game he knew the team was not “ready.”

“We played Brantley then and I knew we weren’t ready,” Ingram said. “I told my players we weren’t ready. I was just looking for effort and to play hard and we didn’t. We absolutely had no effort and we just got shelved.”

Red Level (5-3, 0-1 in Class 2A, Area 1) recently lost to Flomaton in its first area game, 6-4.

Ingram said in order to come back from those losses, his team is trying to correct the mistakes that were made in those games.

“We challenged them (after the losses),” he said. “First off it’s kind of a double-edged sword and you’ve got to put that stuff behind you, but then you’ve got to correct the things you did wrong. We did so much wrong in that game (against Brantley), I don’t know if we have time to correct all that.”

“We went to Flomaton the next week and ordinarily we don’t play an area game that early, but this year the coaches in our area decided to draw the dates like they do in football,” he said. “We went down there and we still weren’t ready, but we got better effort. Our area this year is a beast. We’ve got Excel, Flomaton and Mobile Christian. There are no breaks in the area.”

Last year, Red Level finished the season 18-8 and 5-1 in its area.

Ingram said the one thing that is different this year is a lack of team preparation, due to the basketball players on the team having a lengthy stay in the postseason.

“There’s not a whole lot different other than the fact that we are a whole lot unprepared and that’s nobody’s fault,” Ingram said. “At our level of ball you share athletes with basketball and you want your basketball team to do well, but at the same time, you don’t have your team. Baseball, as a sport is organization and repetition. It’s a unit and the whole team has to work together.”

Ingram added that in January, he only had five players throwing the ball with the rest playing basketball.

“Three of those guys were in junior varsity and two of them were varsity,” he said. “They worked hard, but there is not a whole lot you can do. We were missing basically our three seniors and they were playing basketball.”

Ingram said he would like his team to win the area championship and make it to the playoffs this season. He also said the only way for that to happen is for his team to keep winning.

Ingram said he is counting on his seniors — Cale Nolen, Kyle Nolen and Matthew Bond — to especially have good seasons.

“It all starts with our three seniors,” Ingram said. “They’ve got to set the tone for everything. Cale (Nolen), he’s already signed (with Lurleen B. Wallace Community College) and it’s the same for the other two seniors. They can continue to play after this level if they want to. So, we’ve got to feed off of those three guys.”

Red Level hosts area opponent Mobile Christian today in a doubleheader. The games start at 4 p.m.